Research standards help genealogists plan research, collect data, and reason soundly from evidence.


Planning Research

Research begins with a focused question and seeks to answer it by consulting relevant sources in a logical order, while maintaining flexibility in case of surprises.[1]

Henderson, Harold. “Ten-Minute Methodology: How to Ask Good Research Questions.” BCG SpringBoard blog. 28 January 2016.

DeGrazia,Laura Murphy.Planning Effective Research.” OnBoard 21 (September 2015): 17-18, 23.

Jones, Thomas W. “Focused Versus Diffuse Research.” OnBoard 17 (September 2011): 17–18.

 


Collecting Data

Collecting data includes note-taking, image capture, transcribing, abstracting, quoting, paraphrasing, and separating comments from the source information—all done with careful handling of the materials and respect for archivists and archives.[2]

MORE INFORMATION

Jones, Thomas W. “Perils of Source Snobbery.” OnBoard 18 (May 2012): 9–10, 15.

 


Reasoning from Evidence

These standards address the need for genealogists to seek the best available evidence; shun ill-founded assumptions; and draw conclusions only after carefully assessing the evidence and resolving any conflicts.[3]

MORE INFORMATION

Evans, Stefani. “Evidence Correlation.” OnBoard 18 (September 2012): 21–23.

Evans, Stefani. “Data Analysis.” OnBoard 18 (May 2012): 13–14.

Fox, Judy Kellar. “Ten-Minute Methodology: When Index is a ‘Dirty Word.’” BCG SpringBoard blog. 10 November 2015.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Third edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017. Especially note “Fundamentals of Citation,” Chapter 1. https://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Explained-History-Artifacts-Cyberspace/dp/0806320400

Little, Barbara Vines. “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinarshttps://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=607.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. “FAN + GPS + DNA: The Problem-Solver’s Great Trifecta.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinarshttps://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=501.

Russell, Judy G. “No, No, Nanette! What Negative Evidence Is… and Isn’t.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinars. https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=509.

Russell, Judy G. “When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinarshttps://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=502.

 


BCG Webinars on Legacy Family Tree

BCG partners with Legacy Family Tree to produce instructional hour-long webinars by BCG associates. The webinars are free when first presented each month and for a limited time afterwards. Access the BCG Webinar Library at http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?tid=2619. Note: BCG receives a commission if a person registers for or buys a webinar using the affiliate link.


[1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014), 11–15.
[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014), 15–23.
[3] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014), 23-29.